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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Clark, Thorne McKenzie

by David Clark and Charles W. Eagles, 1979

21 Dec. 1889–11 Apr. 1971

Thorne McKenzie Clark, textile executive, banker, and community leader, was born in Raleigh to Chief Justice Walter Clark of the state supreme court and Susan Washington Graham. Clark was graduated from North Carolina State College in 1909 with a degree in engineering. After his graduation he attended business school in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., for one year. From 1911 to 1913 he worked as a civil engineer for a new railroad in Mexico and for the Piedmont and Northern Railroad in North Carolina and South Carolina.

In 1913 Clark became cashier of the Fourth National Bank in Fayetteville and later was employed as an executive with the Commercial National Bank in Raleigh. From 1917 to 1922 he worked as a national bank examiner, and in 1922 entered textile manufacturing. In Lincolnton Clark worked as manager and an executive officer of Anderson Mills, later Massapoag Mill, until retiring in 1957. He also served as president of the First National Bank of Lincolnton from 1949 to 1967 when he became chairman of the board. In 1970 when the bank became part of Carolina First National Bank, he was made chairman of the new bank's executive committee.

Clark was elected to a two-year term as mayor of Lincolnton in 1931 and represented Lincoln County in the General Assembly in 1937. He was chairman of the Lincoln County board of commissioners in 1940 and in the 1960s helped organize Lincoln Industries, a local development corporation that attracted new industry to Lincolnton.

Clark was a Baptist, a Democrat, and a Mason. On 2 Oct. 1913 he married Mabel Gossett, the daughter of James P. Gossett, a textile manufacturer. They had four children: Thorne McKenzie, Jr., Sallie Brown, Walter, and David. Clark was buried in Hollybrook Cemetery in Lincolnton.


Aubrey Lee Brooks and Hugh T. Lefler, eds., The Papers of Walter Clark, 2 vols. (1948, 1950).

Charlotte Observer, 12 Apr. 1971.

North Carolina Biography, vol. 4 (1929).

North Carolina Manual (1937).